If you're like me, you often daydream about the horrible, horrible things that could happen in your life. You lose your job. Your boyfriend dies. You die, and Briscoe & Greene investigate.
Apparently longtime Lifetime-movie writer Richard Leder also has this problem, because Amber's Story follows the exact turn of events you'd expect in the "my daughter is kidnapped" disaster scenario. If my daughter was kidnapped, I wouldn't give up hope until I couldn't deny her death anymore, and then there'd be a hideous scene where I said something like "why? why? whhyyyy" over and over. Eventually, I would move on and advocate for a system that would keep other children from being kidnapped. And one day, a child who was kidnapped but was then rescued because of my system would tearfully thank me in a touching final scene.
Nothing more interesting than this happens in "Amber's Story," and I know it's based on a true story and all, but hey, there could have been some Lifetimesque add-ons like a sexy cop with a tender heart who falls in love with the victim's mom.
Speaking of the victim's mom, I can't believe I've gotten three paragraphs into this review without mentioning the fact that the mother is played by Elizabeth Rohm, the annoying blonde ADA in Law & Order who became a lesbian in the last 60 seconds of her 85-episode run. As Donna Whitson, she adopts a hideous wig and even more hideous Southern accent, literally saying things like "PO-lice" and "babygirl," and remains appropriately dewy-eyed throughout the entire movie.
Though the movie is called "Amber's Story," Amber is only in about 5 minutes of it, sticking around long enough to get snatched and to be half of one the funniest slow-motion "old man in shock as he witnesses a kidnapping" moments in the history of film. Most of the rest of the movie is Elizabeth doing her best Erin Brockovich without the benefit of boobs and a seemingly unrelated story of a woman who lets a creepy dude babysit her daughter, complete with scenes where he takes her shopping and has her try on clothes. The Amber Alert shuts him down before the movie can delve into "I Know My Name is Stevie" territory, but the woman certainly learns the lesson that letting creepy guys babysit your daughter probably isn't a good idea.
As for me, I learned that sometimes, the Lifetime movie in your head is better than the Lifetime movie on the screen. I also learned, after going to her website, that Elisabeth Rohm has written two books, one of which is available on Kindle for $10. I'm linking to it here with my Amazon Associates ID embedded, so if you download it I'll get 7¢. C'mon, you know you want to.